Simply put, blended whiskies are a mixture of whiskies. The blender takes a variety of whiskies from different distillations, aged in different barrels, for different lengths of time and then combines them to realise their vision of flavour and aroma. You can think of the whiskey blender as a painter who takes the different hues on their palette and skillfully combines them to create something new and beautiful. This is an exercise in creativity – part art, part science – that yields a spirit that is more than the sum of its parts. 

For the master blender this is about highlighting the best parts of the individual whiskies and allowing their flavours and aromas to come to the fore. And while blending is a creative exercise, the goal is often consistency. This is how blended whiskies can create (and recreate) their distinctive character bottle after bottle.  

The History of Whiskey Blending

The origins of blending trace back to Andrew Usher in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the early 1860s. Usher began mixing the robust, intensely flavored single malt whiskies with the newer, lighter grain whiskies. This innovation produced a more approachable whiskey with a sweeter, lighter character, significantly broadening its appeal and marketability to a wider audience. 

During prohibition in the US, blended whiskies from Ireland and Scotland were smuggled across the Atlantic and when prohibition ended in the 1930s the demand for whiskey blends exploded. The rest, as they say is history. 

Why do we Blend Whiskies

So, why do we create blend? Well, the short answer is because people love them. By combining a variety of whiskies together the master blender can produce a flavour that is typically lighter and smoother, but also consistent.  

Just as a particular vintage of wine, such as a Malbec from Cahors, might vary from year to year due to environmental factors, the flavours of single malt whiskies are dependent on myriad conditions. With blended whiskies we are able to subtly alter the flavour to ensure that every bottle of Jameson, taste like a Jameson.

Single Malts and Blends: The Different Types

If we’re going to be pedantic, almost all whiskey is blended, even single malts are a blend of different barrels (they call this process vatting to sound fancy). However, a blended whiskey is defined by the ingredients used to create it. Where a single malt is made exclusively from malted barley at a single distillery, a blended whiskey will incorporate both malt and grain whiskeys from different sources.  

From Japan to Kentucky the subtle nuances of flavour and aroma across the whiseky family are almost endless, but if we are defining whiskey types they will generally be one of these. 

Like a good circle of friends, each whiskey style brings something different to the table, so we encourage you to try them all and find the one’s you like the best. 

Jameson: Blended to Perfection

As a blended Irish whiskey, Jameson combines two whiskeys together to achieve the flavours that you have come to love. 

These distinct spirits are aged in wooden casks, with Jameson using seasoned ex-Bourbon barrels and sherry butts, typically maturing the whiskey for longer than the minimum required three years. When matured to perfection, our expert blenders skillfully combine these whiskeys to achieve the signature flavour profiles that is unmistakably Jameson. 

How to Enjoy Blended Whiskey

Finding the perfect blend for you is the first step in appreciating blended whiskey. Whether through a formal whiskey tasting or simply sampling different blends at home. And if you are wondering how best to sample these blends, there are several ways to enjoy them: 

No matter how you prefer to drink it, the best way to enjoy Jameson is in the company of friends. Much like our master blenders carefully select and combine the unique characteristics of different whiskies to create our signature blend, sharing these moments with friends adds a richness and variety to the experience, enriching life itself. It is the shared stories, laughter, and memories that truly enhance the flavour of each glass, underscoring the belief that the best things in life are even better together. 

Which Jameson blend should I try? 

While all our whiskeys are quintessential examples of the art of blending, if you want to try one to help you understand the nuances of the craft, then Jameson Select Reserve stands out as an excellent choice for those seeking a rich, smooth experience from their blended whiskey. Whether enjoyed straight, in a classic cocktail, or however you prefer, it represents the pinnacle of blending craftsmanship. 

By understanding the meticulous art behind these blends and exploring their varied expressions, whiskey enthusiasts can fully appreciate the depth of creativity and skill involved in each bottle. We invite you to embark on this flavourful journey with a glass of Jameson Select Reserve and discover the unique beauty of blended whiskey for yourself.